four Nov 2019
Valentino Rossi misses out on Sepang podium after shut battle with Andrea Dovizioso, however stays robust to the tip and units a quickest race lap for the primary time since 2016.
Valentino Rossi, dogged by tyre degradation issues for a lot of this season, was the quickest rider on observe on the finish of Sunday’s Malaysian MotoGP.
However it wasn’t fairly sufficient to dislodge the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso from third place, the Yamaha rider ending a tantalising 0.354s from what would have been his first podium since Austin in April.
Nonetheless, Rossi was buoyed by being ‘robust’ all through a technically and bodily difficult Sepang encounter, together with setting the quickest lap and new official race lap file on lap three of 20.
The final time Rossi set a quickest race lap was Might of 2016, at Le Mans.
“I am pleased as a result of it was anyway a very good race for us. Particularly contemplating our pace and our ends in the earlier races,” started the Yamaha rider. “I wish to attempt for the rostrum, as a result of for positive the rostrum is one other story, however sadly I used to be not capable of beat Dovi.
“However the race was good, I did the quickest lap additionally, and a brand new lap file. I really feel good with the bike, I journey nicely, for positive I misplaced a little bit of time originally from [sixth] on the grid.
“However I loved, so it was a very good weekend.”
It was clearly an enormous reduction for Rossi to not as soon as once more be explaining why he had light resulting from an absence of grip within the second half of a race.
As a substitute, he spent the final 13 laps continually attempting to lever third place away from Dovizioso, making a number of passes however in the end missing the straight-line pace to carry the place.
“Right here was loads higher. I may journey nicely to the tip,” Rossi mentioned of the rear grip.
“I used to be sooner than Dovi within the lengthy corners, however in braking it was tough for me to overhaul additionally as a result of I all the time arrive in the braking zone a little bit bit too far behind.
“I handed him a number of occasions, however on acceleration in the straight he all the time re-passed me. I attempted the utmost as a result of for positive third and fourth place could be very completely different, as a result of to be on the rostrum is loads higher.
“However anyway it was a very good race. This time for the tyre life we work nicely and I used to be robust to the final lap.”
The 40-year-old added: “I am very pleased to be robust right here as a result of additionally bodily it is for positive the toughest race of the season. So that is essential.
“We nonetheless have to work as a result of the bike is superb in qualifying, with new tyres we’re very robust. After within the race we undergo a little bit bit extra as a result of we do the lap time on the sting of the tyre, so for positive we stress a bit extra the tyres.
“And in addition now we have an absence of prime pace, so if you combat with the sooner bikes it is very tough.”
Rossi’s team-mate Maverick Vinales prevented such issues by bolting into the lead from the entrance row and staying clear to the chequered flag, for his second victory of the season.
“Maverick was excellent as a result of he go within the entrance originally and when you find yourself alone you may make your line and you may make the distinction within the corners, the place our bike is powerful,” mentioned Rossi, who completed 5.9s behind Vinales, a mean of 0.298s per lap.
“Whenever you combat with bikes which can be loads sooner within the straight, within the nook you can’t overtake. So it is tough. So one of the best ways is like Maverick did in the present day!”
Rossi will head to the Valencia season finale nonetheless seventh on the earth championship, however now simply six factors behind Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) and ten factors from Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) after beating each at Sepang.
Vinales is third on the earth championship.